In January 2010, the Guardian ran a story following an interview the BBC’s Andrew Marr had with the, then, leader of the Conservative Party. David Cameron, once seen as the suave figure who would restore the Tories to government, told Marr his aim would be to limit the amount of net migration into the UK to ‘the tens of thousands’ per year. “We would like to see net immigration in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands. I don’t think that’s unrealistic; that’s the sort of figure there was in the 1990s and I think we should see that again.”
It was a lie. Cameron knew there was no chance of limiting actual numbers for so long as we had an open door freedom of movement policy intertwined with our membership of the European Union. As the decade rolled on, the population became increasingly concerned at the sheer numbers of people – from within and without the EU – coming to our shores. We were regularly told migration was 200,000, 300,000 and more every single year. Desperate to leave the EU to both regain an accountable democracy and preserve our country as something recognisably British, people voted in their millions for Brexit. Even then, with EU migration curtailed, the Conservative Party could not help themselves as they threw open the door to the rest of the globe. Far from limiting our burgeoning population growth, they accelerated it. Unable to comprehend the difference between the principles of taking control of our borders and border control, net migration in the period between June 2021 – June 2022 reached an astonishing 504,000 – a city the size of Bradford. Yes, whilst the Conservative government (whose redemption and return from the wilderness of Opposition was in part predicated on reducing migration all those years ago) was busily lecturing us on how to deal with the aftermath of COVID-19, its immigration policy was a veritable free-for-all. Even as they imposed hitherto unthinkable restrictions on our precious freedoms during the height of the pandemic, they still managed to welcome a total of 680,000 ‘new citizens’ to this overcrowded isle. Self-evidently they were restricting our movement, not theirs!
On November 2nd, the full scale of the huge demographic change presided over by the ten-year spell of Conservative government was laid bare as the immigration statistics from the 2021 Census were published. Out of the 10 million non-UK residents who were living in England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland had a separate enumeration process) at the time the last Census was carried out, an astonishing 42.4% had arrived WITHIN THE LAST DECADE! Some of the other statistics from the Census are no less worrying for those of us who fret that the country we’re going to grow old in will probably be completely transformed from the one we were raised in. The number of EU passport holders had increased by 1.1 million between 2011 and 2021, whilst 545,000 usual residents had an address outside the UK in the year before the Census was taken. This complex mish-mash of figures points to one inescapable fact: Neither the Tories, nor Labour immediately before them, had or have any compunction about unleashing unprecedented social, cultural and demographic changes upon a British population that has never been consulted on, and certainly has never consented to, such changes.
The epicentre of this multicultural project has, predictably, been our capital. London, a city which was once the totemic and institutional standard-bearer of our nation, has been reduced to a sprawling concrete mass of multinational zones. Of London’s 32 boroughs only one, Havering, now has a foreign-born population of less than 25% of the total. It’s consequently become an faceless, soulless, claustrophobic metropolis because it’s clear many of the nationalities who live there have no sense of belonging to Britain; a sense of pride in Britain; a willingness to defend or contextualise its historical journey – good or bad – and its many influences in the global community; or a desire to put a common British identity above that of their own. It may allow cretins such as Sadiq Khan to ‘extol the virtues of a global, cosmopolitan verve’ (or some such nonsense), but for many others it portrays a very different image. Take the experience I had on Saturday, 10th December when walking along Piccadilly. The entire road was crammed with thousands from London’s Moroccan community following the country’s success on making it to the World Cup semi-finals. There they were – beeping horns, detonating fireworks in crowded places, climbing disrespectfully all over the 130-year-old statue of Eros, and provocatively waving masses of Palestinian flags alongside their own (for no display of Arab supremacism would be complete without this traditional middle-fingered gesture to Jewish people and the one country in the Middle East that is enlightened and fully democratic). The only things that reminded me I was still in the centre of London were the multitude of red buses and black taxis slowly trying to making their way through this ill-disciplined rabble.
Mass immigration is incompatible with the long-term stability and cultural preservation of the nation-state. It’s as simple as that. The basic principle of immigration – like anything else in moderation – is fine, just as adding one of two teaspoons of sugar to your morning tea is acceptable. But we should never have tolerated the levels we’ve experienced these past two decades for the same reason we should never add 25 or 30 teaspoons of sugar to that same cup of tea. And why? Because eventually what should be a refreshing hot beverage becomes nothing more than a mug of unpleasant gloop! In a similar fashion, Britain is ceasing to be a country with a recognisable sense of itself and is instead becoming a numerous hotchpotch of territories with culturally incompatible migrant communities encamped on them. And the pace of change is impacting everything – from the housing developments creeping over large segments of our countryside to the atrocious sectarian clashes in Leicester back in September (https://theconversation.com/leicesters-unrest-is-a-problem-for-the-whole-city-not-just-hindu-and-muslim-communities-191363).
Richard Tice, the leader of Reform, has promised to seriously tackle the amount of immigration should his party make it into a position of power and influence. Will Reform rise up the electoral rankings to finally and permanently damage the electoral prospects of both Labour and the Tories? Perhaps! However, I fear Reform has come too late, notwithstanding my intention to give them my vote at the next General Election. The UK is now permanently scarred by mass immigration, and is definitely the poorer for it….in all sorts of ways.